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Proud Moments For Davie High’s Amazing Team

Twenty percent of the residents of Davie County crossed the Yadkin River early Dec. 11. One-fifth of our 40,000 citizens climbed into their cars and headed for Winston-Salem, not to shop for Christmas, but to attend Davie High’s state championship appearance at BB&T Stadium. On a day with lots of competing distractions, Davie residents backed their team.
The turnout was staggering as 8,000 people, many in orange, some wearing their old high school letter jackets, pulled for their War Eagles to win. As the War Eagles took the field, the Davie side of the football stadium roared at decibel levels those players had never heard. State high school athletic leaders said it was the biggest turnout ever for a championship game.
Fans had lined Main Street in Mocksville and the pathway along U.S. 158 as the team had left that morning at 8 a.m.
The outcome was disappointing, but the spirit and unanimity of purpose among those fans is nothing short of astounding. It was a proud day for Davie County and this team’s quest for an illusive state crown.
Davie High had never advanced so far in the hunt for a football championship. This most unlikely team, with a 5-6 regular season record, became a lion slayer in the playoffs. They started the season 0-3. Coach Doug Illing had lined up what was regarded as the fourth most difficult schedule among North Carolina high schools. Anyone could be forgiven for thinking Davie’s appearance in the playoffs would last one quick game.
Down 0-10 at halftime against North Davidson, Illing pulled a rabbit out of the hat, switching to a wildcat offense that confused the opponents. Davie won 35-10 and began a gravity-defying progression through the 4-A playoffs.
Illing had no more tricks for Durham Hillside. Quarterback Vad Lee demonstrated why Georgia Tech gave him a scholarship. Davie fans re-crossed the river with heavy hearts, but for five weeks it had been a charming, delightful time to watch this …